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Crave at 53two

Poster for Sarah Kane's "Crave" at 53two theatre, Manchester

Getting right back on track following the demise of Oldham Coliseum, former CEO and artistic director Chris Lawson directs a show he probably couldn't have staged in Oldham, Sarah Kane's Crave, at 52two, Manchester (May 31-June 4).

Lawson said: "Directing Crave has been medicinal. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of theatre to make us confront our emotions and begin to heal, and I’m really looking forward to getting back to what I love – making theatre.”

One of the late playwright's later works, Crave (1998) is a personal, slightly anonymous and poetic meditation on the meaning of love, or rather the pain of love. It marked a change of direction, of sorts, for the writer, whose earlier plays were renowned for onstage violence. This one is similarly dark, as one might expect from a playwright greatly challenged, and eventually destroyed, by her own mental condition.

Kane left the play subject to variations: four characters - an undescribed older man and woman and a younger man and woman, without so much as a stage direction – and published it at first under a pseudonym to avoid too many references to her notorious earlier plays.

This production comes from HER Productions, Hannah Ellis Ryan's Manchester's-based company, which is also preparing an all-woman version of King Lear for Hope Mill Theatre in June.

The cast features Jake Ferretti as A, Etta Fusi as M, Matthew Heywood as B and Elizabeth Meddows as C.

Jake Ferretti is a qualified mental health first aider as well as an actor, and hosts his own podcast, My Sh**ty Actor Boyfriend, in which he speaks to creatives about their mental health.

Jake said: “Sarah Kane is unlike any other writer I’ve worked on. I feel a particular affinity with her: perhaps it's that her mental health had such a deep effect on her – which ultimately, would prove too much for her to bear.”

Etta Fusi is a performer and artist from Hull. Her work as an actor has varied from SHTF in Vienna to A Streetcar Named Desire at Manchester's Royal Exchange.

Matthew Heywood’s theatre credits include The Book Thief and other shows in Bolton; Robin Hood (Exeter Northcott); ZORRO (Charing Cross Theatre/Hope Mill Theatre) and FIB (Kimbo Theatre).

Elizabeth Meddows graduated from Manchester School of Theatre in 2022, and playing C will be her debut theatre role.

More info and tickets here


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